Thanks to the immense popularity of burlap-swaddled barn weddings where wooden picnic tables groan under the weight of hundreds of mason jars, more and more rural property owners are converting their barns into wedding venues. And boy oh boy, their neighbors are pissed.
The New York Times reports on the fad and its fallout. Old-timey barns aren't terribly useful for a modern farmer, and they're a nightmare to maintain. So many owners are jumping at the opportunity to turn these white elephants into moneymakers. But their neighbors aren't happy about coping with the disruptions for none of the upside. One Iowa woman complained:
"They blare music all night long, they have college students out there screaming, and everyone's drinking.... Rural residents have quiet lifestyles. Sometimes I just think, 'What the heck happened out here?' "
A Minnesota man fighting his neighbor's new business said:
"We moved out here for the rural nature, the quiet aspects of it, the open space," Mr. Windisch, 47, said as he stood on his front porch on a bluff near Mr. Jordan's property. "So do I want a band cranking music out of that building several times a week? No, I do not. Anybody would have reacted the way we did."
One Wisconsin man insisted he's just worried about the guests' safety, considering barns aren't really properly inspected:
"All these people want to have this rustic outdoor wedding in the country so they can get closer to nature, but that barn was built for storing hay.... It's not designed to have 200 people jumping up and down and dancing in it."
But hey, take it from someone who grew up two miles down a dirt road: Unless there's some sort of neighborhood feud, you're not getting the truly authentic country experience.
Photo via Joshua Rainey Photography/Shutterstock.